A recent analysis of construction related employment statistics by the Associated General Contractors trade group out of Washington D.C, reported a hike in construction related jobs in the Akron area. The number of construction related jobs in the Akron MSA, which includes Summit and Portage counties, climbed 18 percent to 12,000 at the end of 2013. This 1800 job increase put the Akron MSA sixth in the nation for construction-related job increases in 2013.
The statistical category in the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics figures includes construction, mining, and timbering. Industry experts in Summit and Portage counties credit the rise in employment mostly to increase in building post recession.
The biggest factor in the employment jump can be credited to the $265 million face-lift of the Northfield Race Track in Summit County to transform it into the Hard Rock Rocksino. The massive project involved adding on a video lottery terminal gaming area, restaurants, and entertainment venues to the track.
In Portage county, the rise of construction jobs can be credited to institutional projects such as a new municipal courthouse in Kent and a fitness center at Northeast Ohio Medical University according to the Brad Ehrhart, president of the Portage Development Board.
Executive vice president of the Home Builders Association of Greater Akron, Carmine Torio, credits a portion of the employment increase to the increase of home building and remodeling. He estimates around 400 jobs of the 1800 job increase is due to residential work.
The Cleveland-Elyria-Mentor MSA rose 1 percent to 32,400 jobs over 32,200 a year ago.
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